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  • George D. and Esther S. Gross Professor of Psychiatry; Director, Yale Depression Research Program; Co-Director, Yale New Haven Hospital Interventional Psychiatry Service

    Dr. Sanacora completed an NIH sponsored Medical Scientist Training Program at the State University New York at Stony Brook, earning his Ph.D. in Physiology and Biophysics in 1992 and his M.D. degree in 1994. He then moved to Yale University where he completed his internship at Yale-New Haven Hospital, the Clinical Neuroscientist Training Program Residency in the Department of Psychiatry, and an NIH funded Neuroimaging Scientist Training Program Fellowship. He is currently an Associate Professor and the Director of the Yale Depression Research Program. Dr. Sanacora’s work is concentrated largely on elucidating the pathophysiological mechanisms associated with mood and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Much of his recent research has focused on identifying the contributions of the amino acid neurotransmitter systems (GABA and Glutamate) to the neurobiology of mood disorders and the mechanism of antidepressant action. Specifically, his basic science laboratory employs rodent models to explore the effects of chronic stress on cellular and molecular biology, and examines the molecular, cellular and behavioral effects of novel treatment strategies targeting these affected systems. His clinical laboratory employs novel magnetic resonance spectroscopy methodologies and pharmacological challenge paradigms to identify abnormalities in the function of the amino acid neurotransmitter systems in individuals suffering from mood and anxiety disorders. In addition, he is involved in several early phase clinical trials designed to test the clinical efficacy of newly developed therapeutic agents.
  • Elizabeth Mears and House Jameson Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging and Professor of Neurosurgery; Director MRI Research

    Dr. Constable received his PhD in Medical Physics from the University of Toronto. He came to Yale as a postdoctoral fellow and has been here since. In addition to being the director of MRI in the Yale Magnetic Resonance Research Center, he runs two parallel labs. One lab is a neuroscience lab focused on mapping the functional organization of the brain through functional MRI measurements and understanding the relationship between this functional organization and behavior. Such developments are leading to new approaches to functionally phenotype individuals with applications in subtyping in brain disorders and disease. Dr. Constable's other lab is focused on the development of novel MRI devices with projects around low field MRI's that can be placed in doctor's offices, with the potential to make MRI much more accessible than it is in it's current form.
  • Associate Professor of Psychiatry; Director, Molecular Imaging Program, NCPTSD, VA; Director, Mood, Anxiety, and Cognitive Sciences Division

    Irina Esterlis is a clinical neuropsychologist and neuroreceptor imager with extensive training in the application of SPECT and PET to the study of mental illness and comorbid disorders. Dr. Esterlis has developed two novel paradigms to interrogate both the acetylcholine and glutamatergic systems in vivo in human, and these are being currently applied to the study of mood and addiction disorders. She has received awards from Society of Nuclear Medicine, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Esterlis' current work includes the study of the metabotropic glutamatergic receptor involvement in bipolar depression and suicide, as well as the effects of depression on synaptic aging. Dr. Esterlis is also initiating new work in the study of neurotransmitter alterations in adolescent depression and suicidality.
  • Associate Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging; Director, NeuroPET Imaging Program, Radiology and Biomedical Imaging; Medical Director, Yale Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Center

    I am a board certified psychiatrist and neuropsychiatrist with research work that has been translational in nature and focused on elucidating the underlying pathology of brain conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, substance abuse and neuropsychiatric disorders (e.g., Parkinson's disease) with an aim to find effective clinical treatments guided by molecular neuroimaging. Studies have included using in vivo PET imaging to investigate the role of neuroreceptors such as dopamine D3, serotonin 1B and 6, MGlur5 and kappa opioid systems, neuroinflammation, and most recently, synaptic density (SV2A) in clinical and nonclinical populations. Ongoing interests include imaging neuropsychiatric and addictive disorders and the demographic, social and environmental factors influencing our brain.
  • Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

    Sina Nikayin, MD, is a psychiatrist at the Yale Interventional Psychiatry Service (IPS). Interventional psychiatrists utilize advanced modalities and procedures to treat patients who are resistant to other treatments such as medications, and who may be at higher risk of medical and psychiatric complications because of the severity of their illness. At the IPS, Dr. Nikayin works with a variety of therapies, including ketamine, esketamine (Spravato), electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to treat treatment-resistant depression (TRD). Some of these modalities can also be used to treat other psychiatric disorders, such as bipolar disorders and schizoaffective disorder. “Interventional modalities can provide significant relief and improvement to patients who have been suffering from depression or other psychiatric disorders for a long time, have tried and failed multiple treatments, and may have been suffering for many years,” says Dr. Nikayin. It’s rewarding to be able to help these patients find relief, he adds. “For me, the highest reward is when my patients experience relief from their symptoms, when they tell me that they had almost forgotten what it was like to not feel the burden of depression. Once again, they are able to genuinely laugh or enjoy activities they used to love.” In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Nikayin is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, where he and his colleagues are involved in multiple clinical research projects designed to address such topics as the effectiveness of ketamine as an antidepressant in Parkinson’s disease, the use of cognitive behavioral therapy alongside esketamine in the treatment of depression with suicidal ideation, and the effectiveness and safety of ECT compared to ketamine in treatment of depression.
  • Associate Professor of Neurology

    Dr. Tinaz attended medical school at the University of Istanbul Cerrahpasa Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey. As a clinical research fellow at the Behavioral Neurology and Movement Disorders Division at the Department of Neurology, Istanbul University, she was an associate investigator and member of the clinical team of the first epidemiological study on Alzheimer's disease in Turkey. She expanded her skills to include neuroimaging as a graduate student of the Program in Neuroscience and Cognitive Neuroimaging Laboratory at Boston University. She completed her residency training in Neurology at the Boston University Medical Center. During her fellowship in the Human Motor Control Section at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, she was involved in the clinical evaluation and care of patients with the full spectrum of movement disorders including Parkinson's disease, dystonia, Tourette's syndrome, essential tremor, and psychogenic movement disorders. She was also the lead investigator of several multimodal neuroimaging projects using functional and structural MRI, and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy. Dr. Tinaz is a board-certified neurologist and treats patients with various movement disorders with a particular interest in Parkinson's disease. She also conducts multimodal neuroimaging research in movement disorders.